Farm-Based New York Craft Beverages See Big Jump

Farm-Based New York Craft Beverages See Big Jump

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced the number of craft beverage manufacturers holding a farm-based license has grown by more than 150% since the first Beer, Wine, Spirits and Cider Summit in 2012. Immediately following the Summit, Governor Cuomo implemented important legislative and regulatory reforms to promote the state’s craft beverage businesses. Since then, 433 new farm-based craft beverage licenses have been issued.

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“New York’s craft beverage industry is booming, and by cutting red tape to industry development, we have seen significant growth in the number of manufacturers supporting our local farms and spurring job creation across the Empire State,” Governor Cuomo said.

Since the Governor’s first Summit in 2012, the Empire State has experienced a surge in craft manufacturing with the vast majority of that growth coming from farm-based producers. Of the 523 craft beverage manufacturing licenses added since the first Summit in 2012, 433 are farm-based manufacturers that use New York grown agricultural ingredients in their production, accounting for more than 80% of all new craft beverage manufacturers.

Major legislation helping to spur New York’s farm-based craft industry includes Governor Cuomo’s Farm Brewery Law that went into effect on Jan. 1, 2013, followed by the implementation of the new Farm Cidery Law, effective Jan. 15, 2014. These laws mirrored the 1976 Farm Winery Act that led to a growth of wineries and grape production in New York State.

The Governor also overhauled the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control laws to give more privileges to manufacturers that use ingredients grown in New York, including hosting tastings, operating gift shops, and selling any farm-produced wine, beer, cider, and spirits by the bottle and by the glass from their tastings rooms. Farm manufacturers may also open branch stores, with 127 farm producers operating no-fee off-site tasting rooms across the state.

New York is now home to 348 farm wineries, 202 farm breweries, 123 farm distilleries, and 42 farm cideries. In addition, 80 farm wineries, 29 farm breweries, 12 farm distilleries, and 6 farm cideries have opened branch stores due to legislation allowing farm breweries, cideries, and distilleries to open branch stores.